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When to Buy a Vehicle Out-of-State (And When to Visit Your Local Dealership)


When perusing your local dealerships for your dream car, you may run into some discouraging roadblocks. For example, aspiring exotic or classic car owners may find that the dealerships nearest them may not carry these hard-to-find vehicles.

Additionally, drivers may notice these vehicles’ price tags are a long drive from their original budget. In these cases, shoppers may turn to the internet and explore the online market.

When looking at the online market, it opens up the possibility of finding the perfect car outside of a ten-mile radius. Despite the broader selection at the driver’s disposal, purchasing a vehicle in another state might necessitate that the buyer conducts additional research for reliable car transportation services.

Upon completing the purchase, the buyer will need to research reputable auto transport services to ensure their recent purchase arrives scratch and dent-free. Remember, in the vintage car buying process that you get what you put in. So, when everything comes together, and the driver finds a car in that financial sweet spot, it’s time to seal the deal.

Things to consider before buying a vehicle out-of-state

Buying a car out-of-state can result in some complications if not handled properly. With that in mind, here are some things to consider before venturing down this path:

  • Know the sales tax rate in the state of origin (varies from state to state)
  • Check state registration requirements in the state of origin.
  • Verify the emission status of the vehicle.
  • Check out shipping options.
  • Research car insurance from the moment of purchase.

Pros of buying a vehicle out-of-state

If you want to look out-of-state for a vehicle, you should understand the advantages of doing so.

Overcoming rarity issues

If you’re looking for a rare car or a car with unusual features, you might need to broaden the scope of your search to include dealerships and private sellers in other states. Buying a car online from other areas increases the likelihood you will find what you want.

Locate better prices

Car prices can vary from state to state and by region of the country. That said, you may be able to score the best price for the exact car through an out-of-state dealership. Generally speaking, buyers can locate lower prices when the supply of the vehicle you want is higher in one state than it is in your hometown.

When comparing prices, you want to make sure your comparisons account for similar features, mileage on the vehicles, and accident reports.

Cons of buying a vehicle out-of-state

Of course, there are always causes for concern when buying a new car from another state. Here are some cons that come with the out-of-state buying option:

Potential complications

Buying a car from other states is much more complicated than making a trip to the local dealership. Unlike purchasing a vehicle in your hometown, drivers have to concern themselves with varying state sales tax rates, emissions regulations, and registration complications.

Shipping considerations

If you were to buy a car from an adjacent state, you might be able to test drive and buy the car, and then drive it home—eliminating the need for auto transportation services. Note that the more miles between you and your car dealership of choice, the more essential car shipping services become, which also means incurring additional costs.